Full House Chili

Christmas Eve Dinner New Mexico Style

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Growing up in New Mexico, we had a family tradition that we would have local fare on Christmas Eve.  In New Mexico, a traditional dinner on Christmas Eve would be a pot of Posole (Po-sole-ley).  While this Mexican style stew/soup is made a lot of different ways in Latino communities of the world, New Mexico has a distinct style for Posole all its own (much like all of New Mexico style food).  The recipe below is my interpretation of Posole, but is inspired by the recipe obtained on the back of BUENO® Posole packages.
In the past, my mother use to compliment the Posole with burritos or Monroe’s Chile Rellenos (I must tip my hat to Monroe’s Restaurant in Albuquerque, NM [http://www.monroeschile.com].  Dianne and I love to eat there when in town).  However, Dianne and I have a tradition which includes Posole and another New Mexican favorite call Carne Adovada (Car-ney Ah-do-va-da).  Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is outlined below.  I hope you enjoy one of my favorite family traditions. Don’t forget the J2 Wines for your table on Christmas Eve. You can enjoy a good bottle of wine even with Mexican food.  From our family to yours, please enjoy!

Prep & Cook Time:  Most of the afternoon; but not a constant focus while cooking.  You will have plenty of time to spend with your family and friends, wrap presents, and enjoy some good wine.

Brad’s Posole Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 4 lbs. Pork Loin cut into 1” by 1” cubes. (If you want a more traditional style, use a Boston Butt or pork shoulder. I use the more premium portion of the Pork Loin for the Carne Adovada and use the fattier portion for the Posole because it is a stew/soup that cooks for a long period of time and can render the meat down into little cubes of goodness.)
  • 4 Tsp. Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Med Smoked Ham Hocks
  • 2 Med Onions (diced)
  • 6 Qtrs. Water (substitute 3 qtrs. Chicken or Vegetable Stock for water to enhance the flavor)
  • 1 pkg. BUENO® Frozen Posole (32 oz.) or Dry Posole (24 oz. Package)
  • 1 – 14 oz. BUENO® Green Chile (tub); you can use other green chile if you cannot get this brand.
  • 1 – 14 oz. BUENO® Red Chile (tub); you can use the red chile recipe below for Carne Adovada if you cannot get this brand.
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 4 Tsp. Granulated Garlic
  • Salt to Taste (be careful if you use stock instead of water in the recipe. Don’t over salt)
  • Sharp Cheddar or Queso Fresco (optional)
  • Chopped Green Onion (optional)

Note: Get BUENO® products online, visit https://www.weshipchile.com or you can obtain retail locations that you can get their products at http://www.buenofoods.com/br_where_to_buy.html

Directions:

  1. On medium heat, add the 4 Tbsp. of Olive Oil to an extra large stock pot (12-15 qt.).  Once to the proper heat, add the onions and Smoked Ham Hocks to the pot and sauté until the ham hocks have a good sear.  Add 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 1 hour over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cubed pork (about 2 lbs.), posole, green chile, and 3 more quarts of water (I use chicken or vegetable stock to enhance the flavor profile) to the stock pot.  Bring to a slow boil; cover and cook for 30 minutes over low to medium heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic, granulated garlic, and the red chile.  Salt to taste (remember to be careful with the salt).  Bring to a slow boil; cover and cook for 1 hour over low to medium heat.  I generally will let it go for several hours because I like to get the Posole on early so I can enjoy the afternoon/evening before we sit down for dinner.
  4. Serve the Posole in a hearty bowl, topped with a little bit of sharp cheddar or queso fresco and a little bit of chopped green onion if you like.

Red Chile Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Flour (All Purpose)
  • 4 Tbsp. BUENO® Red Chile Powder
  • 2 Cups Water 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

Note: You want to be focused on this recipe because it can go quick and you don’t want to burn the oil/flour/chile mixture.

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan. Once oil is to temperature, add flour and brown (like a rue). Add red chile powder and mix. Immediately add water and stir until the lumps are dissolved. Add garlic and salt; then simmer 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. This recipe will make 2 cups. I generally double the recipe because you can never have too much red chile. Kudos to BUENO Chile Company for making such wonderful products. I highly recommend you try all of their products.

Carne Adovada Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 –2 lbs. Pork Loin cut into 1” by 1” cubes. (If you want a more traditional style, use a Boston Butt).
  • 1 Batch Red Chile Recipe
  • Sopapillas or Flour Tortillas
  • Queso Fresco (optional)
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Black Olives (Sliced)

Directions:

You have two choices here: 1) use a crockpot, or 2) bake the dish in the oven. Either way, you will get the same results (my opinion). I generally go for the oven method because that is what I am use to in the past, but I would highly recommend the crockpot if you are making the recipe and taking it to family or friend’s house for a gathering.

Oven Method

  1. Pre-Heat the Oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Select a baking dish such as your favorite 9”glass dish and spray lightly with cooking oil.
  3. Add the cubed pork to the dish, and then pour the red chile recipe over top of the meat. Mix roughly so the meat gets coated; and spread the meat evenly in the dish.
  4. Put the dish in the oven and bake for about 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees. Check for doneness; the meat should be incredibly succulent and pull apart easily. We like Stuffed Sopapillas with Carne Adovada and topped with Queso Fresco, Shredded Lettuce, and black olives; but we have not been able to replicate the Sopapllia recipe like we get at Monroe’s Restaurant in Albuquerque. Once we do have a good recipe we will share it with you, but for now just heat some tortillas and serve.

Crockpot Method

  1. Same as the oven version, but use a standard size crockpot. This method will take a little longer so prepare the recipe early so you can be on time for your family and friends. Once you put the meat/chile mixture in the crockpot, set the heat indicator to “High” for several hours. Check for doneness; the meat should be incredible succulent and pull apart easily. Once cooked properly, set the indicator to “Low”. Pack it up and go; or just use this method for a buffet style dinner for the family.

Variation

  1. If you want to go Georgia Style, smoke a Boston Butt in your smoker and pull the meat like you are making traditional pulled pork. Then use this pulled pork for the Carne Adovada recipe.

Serve with your favorite red wine.  Might I suggest a J2 Winery red wine . . . .